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The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the scale of the ongoing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak as “unprecedented.” Approximately 1,323 confirmed and suspected cases of EVD and 729 related deaths have been reported as of July 27, 2014 in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in March 2014.
The WHO has implemented a new EVD Outbreak Response Plan – drawing on lessons from other outbreaks. Key elements and strategies of the plan include:
While healthcare workers are most at risk of being in contact with the Ebola virus, the WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Canada encourage effective hand hygiene, including washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, when soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Neither the CDC nor Health Canada have reported any cases of EVD being contracted in the United States or Canada.